Interview with Black and White Fine Art photographer Konstans Zafeiri

Interview with Black and White Fine Art photographer Konstans Zafeiri


1. How and when did you become interested in photography?

My sister is an artist, my mother an amateur painter, while my father was a civil engineer who spent most of his time drawing architectural drawings with his pens; therefore I was deeply involved in arts since I was a child and I feel that concepts like perspective, balanced composition, function of colour, shadow and light were inside me since I was born. Furthermore my home environment had provided me with access to music, art books, art materials so I had the chance to realize what art is all about and how an artist can develop an out-of the-box point of view and use his/her expressive means to quest his/her personal truth.
Rembrandt, this amazing artist, was actually the one that led me, at the age of 17, to appreciate the greatness of juxtaposition of light and shade in a work of art. Using chiaroscuro, the technique for contrasting and manipulating light and shadow, Rembrandt was able to achieve dramatic intensity, rhythmic visual harmony, and psychological depth.
I guess it was then that I started working with a medium format twin-lens Lubitel trying to introduce myself to the amazing world of creation through light and shadow.

2. Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?

Well, the following artists have been important and influential to me: Bach’s amazing intellectual depth, Chopin’s poetic genius, Debussy’s liberating atonality, Rembrandt’s chiaroscuro, Turner and Klee, Giacometti, Antonioni’s ‘cinema of possibilities’, Dostoyevsky’s stunning ability to penetrate into the human soul and of course, Koudelka, Adams, Man Ray, Rodchenko.

3. Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?

By its very nature, black and white offers an abstraction which urges me to interpret reality in another, more spiritual level. It is a kind of censorship, a filter that pushes me to discover and express the essence of reality using the light, the shadow and the form in conjunction with the right technique. In black and white, every little detail matters and you don’ have the luxury of colour to cover it; in other words in black and white you have to use the art of photography’s semiotics and that’s all you’ve got.

4. How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?

The creative process works both ways for me: Either I see something, a scene in the real world that creates a concept in my head so I shoot following this idea or I have an idea about a situation, a concept –for instance about fear, pain or happiness etc– and this leads me to create an environment suitable for this purpose. In both cases, usually it is clear to me right form the start what would make me aesthetically happy as a final result. I usually choose simple objects and try to make them speak and tell my truth, follow my scenario as they were my actors. I shoot in medium format black and white but lately I use a digital camera as well. I make corrections in Photoshop if needed but I also use Photoshop as a creative tool to enhance my initial image if this serves my idea. After all the final artwork is what matters.

5. Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?

Creation: this is what really matters in my life. I feel that it is absolutely essential for me to continue to photograph, thus expanding my aesthetic horizons and taking out of my soul what has to be out. My accomplishment would be to offer conceptual and aesthetical propositions that liberate the mind of limitations and give alternatives to this gray reality’s comprehension.

Website: www.inlenso.com

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© Konstans Zafeiri


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